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Posted On Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 2:22 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Stars

DALLAS -- Two days removed from snapping a seven-game home losing streak with a 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes at American Airlines Center, the Dallas Stars now seek their first back-to-back home victories when they play the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

The Stars (7-9-4) have already faced the Kings twice in November, losing 3-1 in Dallas on Nov. 4 but prevailing 2-0 at Staples Center on Nov. 13.

Dallas coach Lindy Ruff expects another tough game on Saturday, the third game of a five-game homestand for the Stars.

"I think they're a real good team at getting around the net. They go hard to the net," Ruff said. "Every line plays the same and I think that physically we got to be up for that challenge."

Posted On Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 4:08 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Coyotes at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars' struggles at American Airlines Center, where they are 1-5-4, have been widely discussed. Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Stars will look to snap a seven-game home winless streak (0-5-2) and get their first victory on a season-long five-game homestand.

"We're obviously sick of losing," Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski said. "We know that the only way to get out of it is to really just work harder. Everyone just wants to bring their best effort [Thursday]. We feel like we just got to get one here and then we'll start rolling. The mood's pretty good. We just want to end this thing and get a result."

Dallas, which lost 6-4 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, last won at home Oct. 21 against the Vancouver Canucks.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 3:56 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Stars

DALLAS -- After losing 6-2 at the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, the Dallas Stars are not only looking to rebound Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes at American Airlines Center, but they're also hoping to start turning things around on home ice, where they are 1-4-4 this season.

Dallas (6-8-4) is starting a five-game homestand against the Hurricanes, who have lost three straight, and Stars coach Lindy Ruff knows how important it is to begin this run of games with a victory.

"Well, it's real big," Ruff said. "We got to push forward now and we got to do it at home. Our home record is the one thing that's been holding us up and we got to start just period by period, going out and winning periods."

Posted On Saturday, 11.15.2014 / 1:38 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Wild at Stars

DALLAS -- After winning each game of a two-game road trip and snapping a seven-game winless streak, the Dallas Stars shift their focus toward winning on home ice for the first time since Oct. 21 on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild at American Airlines Center.

"Well, I'd like to start off well [against the Wild]," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said "This still is a little bit new to me, where you'll fly back. We thought getting a practice [Friday], we don't have any more practices planned now for three, four days, which is strange. It's just going to be play."

Ruff is keeping his defensive pairs and line combinations almost the same from a 2-0 win at the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, when goaltender Kari Lehtonen earned his first shutout of the season.

Posted On Saturday, 11.08.2014 / 2:20 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sharks at Stars

DALLAS -- With his team on a six-game losing streak (0-4-2), Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff decided to shake things up by jumbling his defense pairs ahead of a Saturday game against the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center.

Ruff broke up his top pair of Trevor Daley and Alex GoligoskiBrenden Dillon, who had been with Jordie Benn on the second pair, will play alongside Daley and Goligoski will play with Benn. The third pair will be Kevin Connauton and Sergei Gonchar.

Dallas, which last won Oct. 21 against the Vancouver Canucks, lost 3-2 to the Nashville Predators on Thursday, a loss where Ruff saw plenty of signs that the Stars are ready to break out.

"Well, obviously we haven't won. The other night we had enough opportunities to win the game. I think when you give [Tyler] Seguin and [Jamie] Benn seven or eight opportunities that they had, if they find the back of the net that game's ours. But they didn't. I believe they will," Ruff said. "We had some great opportunities on second opportunities, and I think if you build off that and a little bit sharper on special teams, you win a game."

Posted On Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 2:25 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Stars

DALLAS -- With the Dallas Stars power play 0-for-14 over the past three games, coach Lindy Ruff tweaked his top unit by putting Antoine Roussel in to generate more presence in front of the opposing net on Thursday against the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center.

"Well, we're looking for more net front, somebody around. We got to get somebody inside," Ruff said after the morning skate. "We need somebody that's willing to really take one for the team; stay in there, hunker down. We've got some good shooters. We need a guy that can take the goalie's eyes away. If he can't see it, he can't control rebounds."

It's a new role which Roussel, who is tied for third on Dallas with four goals, is embracing.

"I am just trying to help the team and be in front of the net. I've been in front of most of the net 5-on-5, so maybe it will be easier to get to the net on the power play," Roussel said. "I am going to try to help out the boys and do my best."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 2:39 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Stars

DALLAS -- The Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars find themselves in somewhat unfamiliar situations as they prepare to square off Tuesday at American Airlines Center.

The Kings (0-3-1) and Stars (0-2-2) are each riding four-game winless streaks, a trend each coach would like to quickly reverse.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter, whose team heads into the final game of a five-game road trip, isn't terribly unhappy with how the Kings have played thus far on the trip.

"We've played really well on the road. Other than for a few minutes in Detroit, we played really well," Sutter said. "We probably played better in a couple of these games than we did in our miraculous homestand that everybody talked about."

Dallas hasn't won since Oct. 24 at the New Jersey Devils, a 3-2 shootout victory. But the Stars, who are 1-0-4 at American Airlines Center, haven't won on home ice since a 6-3 victory against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 21. And even with their current struggles, Stars coach Lindy Ruff knows he has a tough draw in the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

"Well, we had tough matchups last year," Ruff said. "We played well against them. Obviously a big, heavy team that we're going to have to compete hard around the puck."

Posted On Friday, 10.31.2014 / 2:09 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Ducks at Stars

DALLAS -- The Anaheim Ducks and the Dallas Stars will play Friday for the first time since the Ducks eliminated the Stars in six games in their Western Conference First Round series in April.

The Ducks are a different team than last spring, most notably with the acquisition of center Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks for Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa.

"I don't think we're better than we were last year at the end of the year right now," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said prior to Anaheim's optional morning skate. "I think we've got the capability of being better, but right now I don't think we're better. The only aspect of our game that is probably other than Game One that has been outstanding is goaltending. Everybody else has had peaks and valleys, good games and bad games. The consistency just hasn't been there yet."

Posted On Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 2:30 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues renew their Central Division rivalry Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.

And after the Stars lost 7-5 at the New York Islanders on Saturday night to split a two-game road trip, captain Jamie Benn is glad to be back on home ice, where Dallas is 3-2-0 this season.

"There already is a rivalry between us and St. Louis. We had some big games with them last year. We are just looking to get off to a good start here at home," Benn said.

Posted On Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 2:24 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canucks at Stars

DALLAS -- When the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars play Tuesday at American Airlines Center, two streaks will be on the line.

Vancouver, which lost 4-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday at Rogers Arena, looks to remain unbeaten on the road, where the Canucks are 2-0-0 this season.

The Stars, who lost 6-5 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday in Dallas, still are seeking their first home win of the season (0-0-2).

Facing Dallas is a homecoming for first-year Canucks coach Willie Desjardins, who spent the past four seasons in the Stars organization, two as an assistant to former coaches Marc Crawford and Glen Gulutzan (now part of his staff in Vancouver), and the past two seasons coaching the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, the 2014 Calder Cup champions.

"Yeah, it's a special game for me. This is a good organization and I know a lot of guys in the organization, so it is a special place," Desjardins said. "So right from the start I knew when this game was going to be."

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